Tucked in the tiny hamlet of Hopton Heath, on the borders of Herefordshire and Shropshire, is a country B&B run by Karen Thorne.
Hopton House is a wonderfully unpretentious place with (as it’s billed) a touch of luxury and as you would expect with such a billing, it exudes real countryside warmth stemming in large part from Karen’s care and hospitality.
Karen began Hopton House back in 2004 when she and her husband upped their family from Surrey and moved to the area more or less on a whim.
Over the past 14 years, Karen has poured her energy in to providing comfort and a place of respite at her B&B. She can now boast great occupancy which given the current poor booking season elsewhere in the county, speaks volumes. Karen has proved to be such a natural at running a successful business that she now trains other owners on how to run their own and more importantly how to do it well.
Although quietly spoken and very modest, Karen loves sharing her knowledge and is an active networker: she’s been chair of the South Shropshire Farm Holidays Group and the Local to Ludlow B&B Owners Group, as well as being treasurer of the Craven Arms Business Network and on the South Shropshire Tourism Association Committee. Clients travel from as far afield as Peru for her intense, two-day courses and she is now working hard on an on-line version.
But back to the property: two separate accommodations are housed in a former barn on her 5-star rated property. The Granary and the Barn are large, inviting self-contained suites decked out in country casual style. You can catch views of Clunbury Hill and overlooking an orchard.
Large and airy rooms contrastingly retain that cosiness that travellers seek when they come to a countryside B&B.
The attractions are all here for Hopton House: beautiful setting, check; places to ramble within easy distance, check; market towns to explore, check; dog friendly, check; quiet and stillness, check and check.
Not to mention the other B in B&B. Karen is big on breakfast. She is an excellent cook and baker and points out that an essential part of the B&B experience is the morning meal.
Karen not only dishes up breakfast, but also light lunch or dinner plates if ordered in advance. In addition, guests will usually find a homemade treat in their room as a welcome.
Karen is wonderful at documenting the things that she loves and has built up quite a following on Instagram and Facebook.
In fact, many guests are aware of Karen’s passions and interests having found her through her prodigious output on social media as well as her long-running blog where she muses. If that’s not enough she also adds regularly to her recipe blog.
Enjoying the quiet of the countryside is one of the many things that draws people to her door. Certainly the hamlet and surrounding hills where Karen is based (and shows off delightfully in her posts) is easy to explore.
Not all guests are sure what they want to do when they arrive, so Karen often provides pointers to help people navigate the Shropshire Hills or the many towns within reach including Craven Arms, Ludlow and Leintwardine.
Hopton House B&B is a two-minute walk away from the Hopton Heath train station on the Heart of Wales line. Well planned journeys are possible to Shrewsbury or over to Wales.
LGL gives Hopton House a star rating because it is truly evocative of everything we love about the countryside. Probably most appealing is that you cannot beat the warmth and friendliness of this accommodation in such a sublime setting.
To book a stay at Hopton House B&B, visit: https://www.shropshirebreakfast.co.uk/
To book on Karen’s courses, visit: https://bedandbreakfastacademy.co.uk/